People suffering from persistent pain are turning to cannabidiol (CBD) oil as an organic, non-pharmaceutical solution to alleviating pain. CBD oil is an effective treatment of a variety of pain-inducing conditions such as headaches, arthritis and back injuries.
How CBD Oil Affects the Human Body
In recent years many people suffering from persistent pain have looked to cannabidiol (CBD) oil as a organic, non-pharmaceutical solution to alleviating pain. Cannabidiol, a compound present in both marijuana and hemp plants, is often regarded as an effective substitute for prescription pain medication for the treatment of a variety of pain-inducing conditions such as headaches, arthritis and back injuries.
Using cannabis (marijuana) for the relief of pain dates back thousands of years to ancient China, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. CBD oil can play a role in reducing inflammation, which in many people is the source of their pain. Additionally, in some cases CBD oil contributes to a better sleep cycle — something that is helpful to pain suffers who experience sleep disruption due to chronic pain.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is just one of over 100 compounds called cannabinoids. While there are many plants that contain cannabinoids (such as flaxseeds and black pepper), people most typically associate cannabinoids with cannabis. That’s because marijuana contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the most well-known cannabinoid of them all.
While CBD is a cannabinoid, it’s non-intoxicating — unlike it’s cannabinoid cousin THC. For pain sufferers this is a good thing, as the fact that CBD does not produce psychoactive effects is the reason it is legal. The reason CBD doesn’t get a person high is, in short, because CBD doesn’t impact the same receptors as THC.
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a system in the human body — an important system, as it assists in regulating functions such as immune-system responses, sleep and pain. As its name suggests, the endocannabinoid system works with cannabinoids — the ECS receives and translates signals from cannabinoids. The body creates some cannabinoids on its own — these human-produced cannabinoids are called endocannabinoids. The ECS also works with cannabinoids from external sources, such as the cannabinoids from CBD oil supplements.
Per an NCBI study, one positive feature of CBD is that it suppresses the absorption of anandamide, a natural cannabinoid that helps to manage pain and contributes to feelings of happiness. When CBD suppresses anandamide absorption, it means there’s more of it available in the bloodstream to assist in reducing pain throughout the body. More information on positive aspects of CBD in treating other health issues can be found in this article.
Why People Use CBD Oil for Pain Relief
According to an Institute of Medicine of The National Academies paper, well over 100 million Americans live with chronic pain. Common types of chronic pain include: neuropathic pain, lower back pain, and pain associated with osteoarthritis, multiple sclerosis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), migraines and fibromyalgia.
Prescription and over-the-counter pain medications are routinely recommended for treatment of chronic pain. However, countless people turn to alternative forms of treatment, including nutritional supplements, herbs, and, of course, CBD oil. The primary reasons people look for non-traditional means of pain relief are fear of developing prescription drug dependencies and avoidance of the side effects associated with pharmaceutical pain medication.
Topical CBD for Pain Management
When it comes to CBD and pain relief, the majority of the conversation has been centered on ingesting CBD so that the CBD can do it’s work internally. But recently, there’s been a growing interest in using CBD externally for managing pain. Topical CBD products — CBD creams — are growing in popularity for treating musculoskeletal complaints.
A recent Arthritis Foundation report of over 2,500 surveyed arthritis patients found that 78% had either considered using CBD or had actually already tried it. Of those who had used CBD, over 50% used a topical product applied to their joints.
Systemic muscle pain — pain that exists throughout the whole body — is usually the result of an illness or infection. Because a CBD product applied topically doesn’t enter the bloodstream, there’s little point in using a cream to try to treat a systemic pain issue. Localized pain, though, is another issue. Pain at a specific site, such as a joint, might be managed with a topical CBD product such as CBD Muscle & Joint Cream from EMPE USA. Best of all, while over-the-counter topical pain relief creams usually simply mask pain or inflammation, CBD creams can actually address localized pain or inflammation.
A CBD cream can actually can make pain go away for a time because the skin has a high concentration of cannabinoid receptors. As mentioned, cannibinoid receptors are a part of the body-wide endocannabinoid system that assists in regulating immune-system responses and pain sensation.
If your preference is to go with a tincture (the traditional CBD oil in a bottle) rather than a cream, the EMPE USA website carries a variety of those CBD products as well.
CBD Oil for Pain Relief Research
Extensive studies and clinical trials focused on CBD oil and how it affects pain and other health issues are in short supply — hopefully over time this research will come about. The limited studies that have been performed, however, demonstrate that CBD oil is, in many cases, helpful as a treatment for chronic pain.
One such study lead to the conclusion that CBD oil was effective in managing chronic pain that is normally challenging to treat — the pain associated with multiple schlerois. Additionally, a 2018 report in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews found that cannabis-based treatments, including CBD, were of some help in treating some types of chronic pain, as well as sleep problems and stress.
A 2018 report published in Pediatric Dermatology documented CBD oil used to treat three children suffering from epidermolysis bullosa — a rare, painful, blistering skin condition. The report states that all three children experienced a lessening of pain, fewer blisters, and quicker healing of wounds. One of the three children was even able to be totally weaned from opioid pain medication
While research involving animals isn’t as valuable as research with human subjects, it is nonetheless helpful. There have been numerous recent CBD studies with animals, including a 2017 study reported in the journal Pain where researchers found that topical CBD treatments helped prevent the development of joint pain in rats experiencing osteoarthritis. A second study, reported in a 2016 volume of the European Journal of Pain observed that topical CBD substantially reduced pain, inflammation and joint swelling in rats with arthritis.
For people with chronic pain, in addition to the pain itself they often experience poor sleep cycles, anxiety or even depression. Many chronic pain suffers seek natural therapies to avoid or replace the use of pharmaceutical medication. Natural therapies such as yoga, meditation or an anti-inflammatory diets may bring some relief to those who regularly experience pain. The most beneficial natural therapy for relief from chronic pain, though, may very well be CBD oil supplements.